'More than half of human jobs will be taken by robots', expert warns

A scientist has warned of 50% global unemployment because of robots. Credit: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

More than half of the human race could be unemployed by 2045 as job vacancies are filled by machines, a scientist has predicted.

Computer expert Professor Moshe Vardi has predicted that machines will be able to do most roles leading to a global economy with greater than 50% unemployment.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), in a presentation entitled Smart Robots And Their Impact On Society, Mr Vardi said the implications of a robot dominated future will be 'humanity's greatest challenge ever'.

Professor Vardi argued that the pace of progress in artificial intelligence was increasing, even as the same technology was eliminating growing numbers of middle-class "white collar" jobs and driving up income inequality.

He added: "Humanity is about to face perhaps its greatest challenge ever, which is finding meaning in life after the end of 'in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread'. We need to rise to the occasion and meet this challenge."